What to Watch: July 2
7:30pm: John Adams’s Nixon in China President Nixon’s controversial 1972 visit with Chairman Mao in Beijing might seem an unlikely candidate for an operatic retelling, but in the inspired hands of composer John Adams, the meeting of politics and music not only works, it feels essential. The Met’s landmark staging brought together a host of modern luminaries, including director Peter Sellars and choreographer Mark Morris, who vividly capture the tense mood of the historical moment. A must-see for those who like their opera thought provoking, sensational, and true to life.
Marys Seacole through July 4 Quincy Tyler Bernstine stars in Jackie Sibblies Drury’s play about an ambitious Jamaican woman determined to live a grand life, whose adventures take her across oceans and eras. Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz, the production was filmed Off-Broadway at the Claire Tow Theater in 2019.
Becoming Dr. Ruth Tovah Feldshuh stars as the legendary Dr. Ruth Westheimer in Mark St. Germain’s play through California’s North Coast Repertory Theatre. David Ellenstein directs the production that tells the extraordinary true story of the real-life radio and television sex therapist and her rise to fame. Available through July 4.
Juliet and Romeo Romeo and Juliet is reinvented as a musical comedy when the UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance, Southern Utah University’s (SUU) Department of Theatre, Dance and Arts Administration and Catalyst: A Theatre Think Tank premiere Juliet and Romeo.
Co-written by Paul Gordon, a Tony Award nominee for Jane Eyre, and Curtis Moore, an Emmy Award nominee for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the production will be accessible through midnight Pacific on June 5.
GenSpeak: an evening of intergenerational plays and songs! From the Rattlestick.
Myths and Hymns: Faith Jennifer Holliday, Mykal Kilgore and Anthony Roth Costanzo star in the final installment of Adam Guettel’s song cycle.
The Zip Code Plays: Los Angeles Antaeus Theatre Company highlights the culture and history of six additional Los Angeles neighborhoods with Season 2 of its popular The Zip Code Plays: Los Angeles podcast series.
The latest installments will introduce audiences to the geographically, historically and culturally diverse locales of Echo Park (90026), West Hollywood (90069), Inglewood (90303), Pacoima (91331), North Hollywood (91601) and Monterey Park (91754).
Herding Cats Starring Jassa Ahluwalia, Greg Germann, and Drama Desk nominee Sophie Melville, Herding Cats by Lucinda Coxon is a chillingly funny play about a generation negotiating intimacy and independence in the 21st century.
Meeting the demands of modern life is as impossible as herding cats for Justine, Michael and Saddo. To deal with work, Justine talks—a little too much—to her roommate Michael who earns a living by chatting with strangers like Saddo. But all three will soon find that in a cold, disconnected world, words may not be enough.
Directed by Anthony Banks, this revival of Coxon’s play uses the technical feats that adventurous theatre artists have discovered during the pandemic and combines them with the raw intimacy of in-person performance. This first-of-its-kind, transcontinental event features Ahluwalia and Melville performing for an in-person audience on Soho Theatre’s London stage with Germann performing live via video from the United States.
This production contains distressing themes of sexual abuse. If needed, you may seek help from the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline. (Click here to access their website.)
Animal Wisdom Heather Christian’s Animal Wisdom will unfold on screen rather than on stage. The writer-performer’s show originally debuted at The Bushwick Starr in 2017 but now gets a film adaptation.
In Animal Wisdom, singer-songwriter-soothsayer Christian lays to rest the souls that haunt her, shape-shifting between rock star, folklorist, and high priestess, as she conjures a constellation of souls in an effort to confront her family’s mythologies.
Amber McGinnis directs the film, with stage direction by Emilyn Kowaleski. The cast also includes Sasha Brown, Eric Farber, B.E. Farrow, and Maya Sharpe.
The film is presented by Woolly Mammoth Theater Company and American Conservatory Theater.
The Destruction of Jane Edgar Rice Burroughs will be spinning in his grave this spring. A new seven-part miniseries, inspired by the infamous film Tarzan the Ape Man, debuts this month.
The Destruction of Jane is an unauthorized parody of the King of the Jungle is told from the point of view of Miss Jane Parker.
Weekly installments premiere on Thursdays.
The miniseries stars stars Paul Pecorino and Rob Eco as Jane and Tarzan, respectively, and features special cameo appearances by Mario Cantone and Randy Rainbow. The show is written by Paul Pecorino and directed by Drue Pennella.
Set in the current COVID-19 pandemic, this comedy follows Jane to the African jungle where she meets and falls in love with the spectacular specimen we all know as the legendary Tarzan. The 1981 Tarzan film became a massive financial hit due to its dizzyingly unintentional bad taste, and screenwriter Paul Pecorino has set out to push these offensively vulgar boundaries even further.
The creative team includes director of photography Erik Paulsen, composers Drew Fornarola and David Nehls, musical arranger Paul Doust; costumes & wigs designer David Mitsch; makeup & wig styling designer Vera Stromsted and Donanyely Mejia and Marty Thomas; and specialty costumes designer Gail Baldoni. The Destruction of Jane is presented by Pure Motion Pictures.
Back to the Future: From Screen to Stage Ahead of the Back to the Future musical opening in the Adelphi Theatre on August 20, BFI at Home presents an online discussion with members of the cast and crew about how the hit film became a full-fledged stage musical.
The Woman’s Party Clubbed Thumb presents the world premiere of The Woman’s Party. Originally slated to premiere as part of the 2020 Summerworks Festival, the piece will now premiere virtually.
Written by Rinne B. Groff and directed by Tara Ahmadinejad, The Woman’s Party has been divided into three 30-minute episodes.
1947 is the year that the savvy politicos of the National Woman’s Party will finally get the ERA passed once they quash that insurgency—or oust the old guard. The Woman’s Party takes place 27 years after the ratification of women’s suffrage, when the Equal Rights Amendment was poised for passage.
The cast includes Rosalyn Coleman, Alma Cuervo, Laura Esterman, Marga Gomez, Marceline Hugot, Emily Kuroda, Lizan Mitchell, Socorro Santiago, Rebecca Schull, and Connie Winston.
Shadow/Land Michelle Wilson, Te’Era Coleman, Lizan Mitchell, Lance E. Nichols, Lori Elizabeth Parquet and Sunni Patterson star in the world premiere of Erika Dickerson-Despenza’s audio play. The drama is set amidst the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and is part of the Public Theater’s digital stage.
The Thanksgiving Play Spotlight on Plays returns with Larissa FastHorse’s The Thanksgiving Play, directed by Leigh Silverman. The cast features Tony nominees Heidi Schreck and Bobby Cannavale, along with Keanu Reeves and Alia Shawkat.
Romeo y Julieta Lupita Nyong’o and Juan Castano star in this free bilingual audioplay of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, presented by the Public Theater and WNYC Studios.
La Femme Theatre Productions: The Night of the Iguana The show will feature Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee Dylan McDermott (Netflix’s “Hollywood”) as Reverend Shannon, Emmy nominee and Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad (Broadway’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) as Maxine, Roberta Maxwell (Broadway’s Summer and Smoke) as Judith Fellowes, Tony nominee, Obie and Drama Desk Award winner Austin Pendleton (Broadway’s Choir Boy) as Nonno, and Jean Lichty (Off-Broadway’s A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, The Traveling Lady) as Hannah, with Keith Randolph Smith (Broadway’s Jitney, American Psycho) as Jake, Carmen Berkeley (Off-Broadway’s Our Dear Dead Drug Lord) as Charlotte, Eliud Kauffman (Roundabout Theatre’s 72 Miles to Go) as Hank, Julio Macias (Netflix’s “On My Block”) as Pancho, Stephanie Schmiderer (No Exit, The Human Voice) as Frau Fahrenkopf, Bradley James Tejeda (Broadway’s The Inheritance) as Pedro, and John Hans Tester (Amazon’s ”Hunters” ) as Herr Fahrenkopf.
Waiting for Godot Directed by Scott Elliott, the classic features Tony nominee Ethan Hawke as Vladimir, Tony recipient John Leguizamo as Estragon, Wallace Shawn as Lucky, rapper Tarik Trotter as Pozzo, and Drake Bradshaw as Boy.
In Waiting for Godot two wanderers wait by a lonely tree, to meet up with Mr. Godot, who they hope will change their lives for the better. Instead, another couple of eccentric travelers arrive, one man on the end of the other’s rope.
The creative team also includes production designer Derek McLane, costume designer Qween Jean, sound designer Justin Ellington, director of photography Kramer Morgenthau, editor Yonatan Weinstein, and associate director Monet.
The New York Pops Up Festival a thousand in-person performances throughout the state from now through June. Most events associated with NY PopsUp will be unannounced (and unticketed) and will be designed so that New Yorkers happen upon them in their everyday lives. (Since we can’t have large gatherings right now, we want to bring a lot of small things to the public where they are) NY PopsUp is a surprise that you happen upon, rather than an event or concert you are alerted to via a notification or a schedule.
Julius Caesar, Starring Patrick Page By Shakespeare@ Tony nominee Patrick Page (Hadestown) stars in the title role with Jordan Barbour (The Inheritance) as Brutus and Keith Hamilton Cobb (American Moor) as Cassius. West End Harry Potter and the Cursed Child performers Jamie Ballard and James Howard co-star as Mark Antony and Metellus Cimber, respectively.
The production is also be available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, and Stitcher.
Produced by Jersey City’s Shakespeare@, this audio production is the third installment of the season, produced and adapted by Artistic Director Sean Hagerty.
Hagerty has crafted the production into four weekly parts and partnered with the Emmy-winning team at Sonic Designs to capture the lost art and thrill of radio drama all without leaving the confines of quarantine.
Julius Caesar features original music composed by Joan Melton with sound design by the Emmy-winning team of Dan Gerhard and Ellen Fitton of Sonic Designs. Justin Goldner is the music producer and supervisor, and casting is by Robin Carus. Sydney Steele serves as the associate producer.
Assassins Reunion: Original Off-Broadway Cast The original cast and creative team of the 1991 Off-Broadway debut of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Tony-winning Assassins will reunite virtually to celebrate the musical’s 30th anniversary.
The free online event is part of the Studio Tenn Talks: Conversations with Patrick Cassidy series and will feature Studio Tenn Artistic Director Cassidy as well as other original cast members Victor Garber, Greg Germann, Annie Golden, Lyn Greene, Jonathan Hadary, Eddie Korbich, Terrence Mann, Debra Monk, William Parry, and Lee Wilkof plus Sondheim and Weidman, director Jerry Zaks, musical director Paul Gemignani, and orchestrator Michael Starobin.
The Things Are Against Us Susan Soon He Stanton’s The Things Are Against Us will be the next production in MCC’s LiveLab one-act digital reading series. Ellie Heyman directs the cast, which includes Juan Castano, Emily Davis, Susannah Flood, Babak Tafti, and Danny Wolohan, in tthe play set in a mysterious house with a mind of its own.
SoHo Playhouse Presents Typical Soho Theatre and Nouveau Riche present the world premiere of Typical, the film version of the stage play, released exclusively on Soho Theatre On Demand
Written by Ryan Calais Cameron and directed by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour, Typical uncovers the man and the humanity behind the tragic true-life events of Black British ex-serviceman Christopher Alder and the injustice that still remains twenty years since his story emerged.
The Manic Monologues Current Slave Play Tony nominee Ato Blankson-Wood, Rent Tony winner Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Accidentally Brave playwright Maddie Corman, and more stage favorites will explore mental health this winter in a new digital production from the McCarter Theatre Center.
The Glorious Corner
Carmine Appice and David Salidor
SIXX APPICE –— (Via Ultimate Clsssic Rock) Nikki Sixx spoke out against Carmine Appice’s claim that guitarist Mick Mars had been in dispute with his bandmates in the run-up to his retirement from Motley Crue. Mars’ departure was announced on the completion of their 2022 Stadium Tour, with John 5 named as his replacement soon afterwards. The official reason given was that Mars’ longterm illness had finally caught up with him – but in a recent interview, former Ozzy Osbourne and Vanilla Fudge drummer Appice suggested otherwise.
“[Mars] told me, ‘When I was on the Stadium Tour, I was not happy,’” Appice told Ultimate Guitar. “Basically, everything was on tape; it was all planned out and ultimately a lot of crap. … The truth is that everything has been weird for a while with Motley Crue… Mick told me that people that came to see it could tell that it was all pre-recorded and that everything was on tape.”
Appice added that Mars “would travel alone on a bus while the other guys flew everywhere,” and continued: “He said, ‘Man, these guys are pissing their money away, flying to every gig.’ They were all busy still trying to be rock stars, and Mick just wanted to play the music. … [T]here were a lot of disagreements. I think he was just done.” When Mars was told about Crue’s World Tour with Def Leppard, Appice claimed, the guitarist told his colleagues: “You can do it. I’m not going out with you for this.”
Earlier this week Sixx appeared to refer indirectly to Appice’s comments, tweeting: “Love how people talk FOR us without talking TO us. This is why the media has lost credibility. Obviously by printing BS they make money off of advertising and we’re not into that clickbait game. When the truth comes out it will be FROM us.”
But he was more direct during a Twitter Q&A session last night. “A washed up drummer trying to speak for us? And bottom feeder media running with it to make money off of lies? Welcome to the sad new world of LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME,” the bassist wrote.
He more or less repeated the same answer when asked: “Is what Carmine Appice said true?” Sixx replied: “A washed up drummer speaking for our band without any of the facts is as ridiculous as bottom feeder media running with stories without fact checking. When you hear the truth it will be from us.” He later commented: “It’s a funny money game.”
Crue will continue on the road through much of the year. Asked if 5’s status in the group was secure, Sixx stated: “Of course. He’s our guitar player. We have big plans.
Seems like there’s really a rumble in the metal-jungle. First off, I love these names … but, the name ‘Carmine Appice’ actually sounds pretty normal.
The metal world is a rough one for sure with fanzines named Blabbermouth; Louder Sound; Metal Edge; Metal Anarchy; Chaoszine; and Metal Injection. Remember, look before you leap!
SHORT TAKES — Growing up, every Sunday night was family-dinner night at the steak-eatery The Longhorn in Rockville Center, Long Island. Sure it was a long-time ago, but the memory survives (as does the memory of our favorite waiter Tomas). Did you know that Micky Dolenz’s father George, owner and operated a restaurant in the heart of the Sunset Strip called The Marquis? The always regal-Alison Martino did a terrific piece on it, check it out here: https://martinostimemachine.blogspot.com/2022/02/the-marquis-restaurant-once-located-on.html?m=1&mibextid=uc01c0&fbclid=IwAR3wCiU_sgRmpjqWGpda_mEHthrj7OS1UfLOVkvYdbfVP_d5Iz0fO-KZbUw
Grace Jones, Bruce Hornsby Comes To The Blue Note Jazz Festival
The Blue Note Jazz Festival runs from May 31st through July 2nd.
On May 31st Grace Jones, singer, actress, author, traveller, artist and revolutionist will be playing at the Hammerstein Ballroom at 8pm. Her CD ‘Hurricane,’ received widespread praise. In 1977 Jones secured her first record deal resulting in a string of dance-club hits including “I Need A Man” and her acclaimed reinvention of Edith Piaf’s classic “La Vie En Rose.” The three disco albums she recorded, ‘Portfolio’ (1977), ‘Fame’ (1978) and ‘Muse’ (1979), generated considerable success in the market and established her as a major recording artist.
Jones also became a muse to Andy Warhol who photographed her extensively and created a series of iconic portraits of her.
Jones is equally famous for her motion picture roles in such features as “Conan the Destroyer” (1984) co-starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, “A View to a Kill” (1985) co-starring Roger Moore as James Bond, the vampire thriller “Vamp” (in which Keith Haring famously painted her body for her role as an undead exotic dancer) and “Boomerang” (1992) co-starring Eddie Murphy (for which she recorded the song “7 Day Weekend”).
On June 3rd at Town Hall Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers with special guests John Scofield, Kenny Garrett & Christian McBride.
Bruce Hornsby, pianist Bruce Hornsby writes powerful songs from the heart that touch on several distinctly American traditions: pop, jazz, bluegrass, and 1960s soul. He recorded with his backing band the Range. Hornsby ultimately rejected the musical mainstream, disbanding the Range so he could tour with the Grateful Dead in the early ’90s, then exploring a variety of adventurous musical fusions on his own that decade and with the Noisemakers in the 2000s. Along the way, Hornsby collaborated with everybody from bluegrass picker Ricky Skaggs to jazz musicians Christian McBride and Jack DeJohnette while also spending time composing scores for Spike Lee, but his real revival arrived in the 2010s when Justin Vernon cited Hornsby as an influence and invited the pianist to play on Bon Iver’s 2019 album I, I. Hornsby embraced the opportunities that arose with a series of electronic-inflected, unpredictable albums that ran from 2019’s Absolute Zero through 2022’s ‘Flicted.
The Glorious Corner
JIM GORDON RIP — If you’re a music fan, you know the name Jim Gordon well. Brilliant musician, part of the Wrecking Crew; Mad Dogs & Englishmen; Delaney & Bonnie; Derek & The Dominoes; Eric Clapton; George Harrison … dead at 77. I’m not going to go into the trouble he had, you can read it below in Variety’s terrific story, but suffice to say, he was an amazing musicianDid he do things that he shouldn’t have? Of course … as we all have. He had a most troubled road and hopefully is now at peace. His music will however, live on. Sad, sad story for sure.
Celebrity-scribe Mark Bego, who is working on a bio of Joe Cocker (for Yorkshire Publishing) had this to say: “Gordon brought a very professional edge to Joe Cocker and his still-gestating Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour. Gordon was one of three drummers on stage for that outrageous tour. Having been a member of The Wrecking Crew, Gordon, despite some head-scratching antics, helped give the rough-and-tumble troupe a much-needed degree of professionalism. However, Gordon began displaying a violent nature on that tour when he hauled off and punched Rita Coolidge in the face, one night after the show.”
Bego’s Cocker bio is provisionally set for release during the holidays.
GOTHAM — Gotham: The Fall and Rise of New York is an exciting exploration of New York City’s history and the legacy of its six mayors from 1966-2013. At the turn of a new century, learn how New York went from a failing city with over 2,200 murders, 93,000 violent robberies and over 500,000 annual felonies only to rise-up as America’s Greatest City.
Featuring twenty-six interviews, archival footage and re-enactments, Gotham puts viewers in the middle of the action exploring how a city turn-around happens.
New York City became what it is today through the blood, sweat, hard work, innovation, and creativity of a handful of heroes who were willing to challenge the status quo. Learn what they did and why it matters.
“We want the audience to get a historical sense of what was going on in New York during this tumultuous time,” said writer, director, and producer Matthew Taylor. “Through the courageous leadership and determination of many, the city was able to turn-around a common perception regarding crime in the area, which can serve as a blueprint on how to revitalize our great cities today.”
Featuring candid interviews with former NYC mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, and former NYPD commissioners Ray Kelly and William “Bill” Bratton, the film also features interviews with more than one dozen important figures who helped resurrect the city. Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45EXpx2JDz8&t=2s
REVIVAL69 — (Via Deadline) Shout! Studios has acquired North American rights to the music documentary Revival69: The Concert That Rocked The World, about a historic happening that’s been called “the second most important event in rock & roll history.”
Ron Chapman directed the film, which held its U.S. premiere this week at SXSW in Austin, Texas, playing in the festival’s 24 Beats Per Second section. The documentary tells “the remarkable, behind-the-scenes story of how a little known, but life-altering music festival came together — against all odds,” according to a description of the film. “Young, scrappy concert promoter John Brower puts his life on the line (literally) to turn his failing Toronto Rock n Roll Revival into a one-day event… The festival united rock legends like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, and Gene Vincent, with The Doors, who were the biggest band in the world. But it was the 11th hour arrival of John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band that ignited a truly seminal moment for the 20,000 fans at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium.”
The film draws on rare behind-the-scenes material, as well as unreleased concert footage shot by D.A. Pennebaker, the vérité/direct cinema legend who directed the landmark Monterey Pop documentary.
“With its improbable backstory, incredible line-up and indelible D.A. Pennebaker footage, Ron’s wonderful film joins an elite group of unforgettable music documentaries that tell a great story while preserving a seminal moment in pop culture history, Shout has deep roots in the music business, so this was a very happy deal to do.” read a statement from the company.
The film draws on rare behind-the-scenes material, as well as unreleased concert footage shot by D.A. Pennebaker, the vérité/direct cinema legend who directed the landmark Monterey Pop documentary.
The second most important event in rock and roll history? Dunno about that, Bangladesh and Live AID sort of stand out a bit more. That said, interestingly enough, the packaging of the film in its box, looks a lot like Harrison’s show, so maybe its more of an intended subliminal message. In any event, it solidified Lennon’s full departure from The Beatles and his performance was extraordinary as usual. Definitely an integral part of rock history.
Here’s the trailer:
SHORT TAKES — Here’s the trailer for the forthcoming doc on Little Richard entitled I Am Everything. Looks fantastic.
Roger Friedman’s Showbiz 411 reported that the Friar’s Club on 55th street in NYC is officially closed for now. https://www.showbiz411.com/2023/03/16/sad-obit-the-friars-club-is-padlocked-shut-closed-after-years-of-mismanagement-and-malfeasance-comes-end-of-era Sad. I spent many marvelous nights there as well as having numerous meals there – I always said they had the best chopped salad in town. 21’s gone; Tortilla Flats; Lucky Strike; China Grill … 3 of the 4 Palms, all gone now. New York’s a changed place now for certain … Great post by producer/manager John Luongo on the resurgence of vinyl. Check it out and BTW, he’s absolutely right: https://www.johnluongomusic.com/post/a-vinyl-countdown …
And, the long-awaited David Johansen movie, Personality Crisis is here (executive produced by Martin Scorsese). Check out the trailer: https://deadline.com/2023/03/david-johansen-personality-crisis-trailer-streaming-premiere-date-showtime-1235301450/
… RIP Lance Reddick from Fringe and Bosch … HAPPY BDAY Steve Garrin and Donna Dolenz!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Scarlett Rae; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Kent Kotal; Cynthia Ronzoni; Kim Garner; Steve Ross; Ahmet Ertegun; Andrew Sandoval; Terry Jastrow; Harrison Jordan; Bob Small; Kent and Laura Denmark; Jim Kerr; Liz Rosenberg; Ken Dashow; Joe Banadonna; Eppy; Wayne Avers; Jay Fagen; and CHIP.
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